Jewish Festivals in Israel

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Jewish festivals are the days celebrated by Jews. Some Jewish festivals happen on the same date every year, while others move around within a range of dates. Here we have provided the dates of the Jewish religious holidays for calendar year 2009. All Jewish holidays begin in the evening after the sunset.

Judaism is believed to be one of the world's oldest religions. Jews believe there is one God who created and rules the world. Judaism believes that people have freewill and are responsible for the choices made. The Torah is the primary scripture of Judaism. Torah means "teaching", is God's revealed instructions to the Jewish People.

Why is the Jewish Calendar a Lunisolar Calendar? (Lunisolar = follows the cycle of the moon I.E. lunar, and sun I.E. solar)

Background and History

The Jewish calendar is primarily lunar, with each month beginning on the new moon, when the first sliver of moon becomes visible after the dark of the moon. In ancient times, the new months used to be determined by observation. When people observed the new moon, they would notify the Sanhedrin. When the Sanhedrin heard testimony from two independent, reliable eyewitnesses that the new moon occurred on a certain date, they would declare the rosh chodesh (first of the month) and send out messengers to tell people when the month began. Who originally obtained the exclusive authority to fix the date for Jewish festivals prior to the establishment of the Jewish calendar? Before the establishment of a Jewish calendar, the identification and designation of Rosh Hodesh ("new moon" in Hebrew) for a given month was critical in fixing the dates for Jewish festivals for that month. The Jewish high court in Judea, known as the Sanhedrin, based in Jerusalem during Temple times, retained its centralized and exclusive authority for fixing the date of Rosh Hodesh as well as for adding an extra month when it deemed necessary, based on the condition of crops at the end of the 12th month. The...
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